Taxonomy Version: IOC 10.2
Taxonomy Ranking
Level Rank Scientific Name

A small, homogenous family (three species in a single genus, Bombycilla), waxwings are medium-sized brown/grey birds with a black-and-white eyestripe and small crest. Their secondary flight feathers have red waxy tips, which gives the family its name (though the feature is rarely seen in Japanese Waxwing B japonica). Bohemian Waxwing B garrulus is found across the northern hemisphere (on both sides of the Atlantic) and is encountered in Britain and Ireland in most winters,  sometimes in large numbers; Cedar Waxwing B cedrorum is restricted to North America and is only encountered as a rare vagrant in Europe. In years of poor berry crops waxwings are subject to irruptive winter movements, when they are often seen feeding on the berries of ornamental trees and shrubs in towns and cities.

  • Waxwing - Nottinghamshire © Mike

  • Waxwing - Hertfordshire © Tony Knight

  • Waxwing - Cleveland © Paul Welsh

  • Waxwing - Hampshire © Darryl Gorman

  • Waxwing - Britain © Nick Truby

  • Waxwing - Britain © David Main

Select Genus
Scientific Name English Name Rank Rarity (UK) Image
British & Irish Records Archive

All Records (Accepted, Rejected, Pending). To filter/search please enter a phrase. E.g. To filter Rejected records, type Rejected into the Search box, all columns can be filtered.

British & Irish Records Archive is only available to our BirdGuides Ultimate or our BirdGuides Pro subscribers.
Please login or subscribe to view this information.